It’s the question I get asked the most, especially at the moment and I never quite know how to answer it. “How do you fit it all in?” And the only thing I can say in return without going into all the boring details is to shrug and say “A lot of late nights!”. But the truth is, having a side hustle takes a lot of dedication, hard work and a lot of FOMO. Juggling it with a full time job is not easy. Whether it’s a blog, a part-time job or freelancing on the side, doing it all takes a lot of planning and a true love for what you do.
More and more of us are now dipping our manicured toe into the world of a side ‘hobby’ as a way of channelling our creativity, earning a bit of extra cash or doing something we really love which might not pay that well…yet. I wish I could say that I’ve been bossing a side hustle for the last 12 months, but the truth is, it’s a serious balancing act that can give me the best day ever or the worst. It’s been amazing, challenging and rewarding all at once and in equal measures. There’s no rule book, no do’s and don’ts and not a lot of structure which is both liberating and exciting but also like you’re stumbling around in the dark.
So, for all of you budding entrepreneurs out there, I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve picked up along the way of how I manage a side hustle.
GO IN WITH OPEN EYES
A lot of people like the idea of a side hustle but quickly give it up when they realise how difficult it is. Depending on what your full time job hours are, be prepared to give up evenings, maybe mornings, weekends and holidays to fit everything in. I tend to work an hour in the morning, sometimes lunch breaks, every evening and Saturdays. Yep, I’m a barrel of laughs! It sounds a lot but it’s the only way I can do everything I want to. Starting a business takes a lot of consistent effort to build it into something profitable and successful. So sacrifices have to be made (sorry!). But it’ll be worth it when you hit your targets – eyes on the prize!
Managing a side hustle takes a lot of forward thinking and organising. Working a week (or more) in advance is key. Here are a few ways you can do that without completely losing your head. At the end of the week, start to think about what you need to do for the next 7 days and get everything prepared for that. Whether it’s calling in products, organising clients or researching strategies, schedule it in your diary as if it was an appointment. This way you can book out your time for each task. Wednesday, for example, is always the day I set aside to plan what I need to shoot at the weekend and what I need to call in or buy for the following week. If I don’t I’m scrapping around for content which I always hate to do.
GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
If you’re starting to make money from your side hustle, go you! Just make sure you don’t get stung by the tax man. Register as self employed as soon as you make anything extra, and I mean ANYTHING! It’s just not worth the risk. Getting that first whiff of money from your side hustle is exciting but don’t get too carried away. Marching into your bosses office on Monday morning and quitting your job (as tempting as it is) is not ideal. Until you’re confident you can match your current salary or make enough to live on, bide your time. When that day comes – read this first!
SPREAD THE WORD
If you’re sacrificing your time starting a side hustle make sure everyone knows about it. Get your business (yes, you need to start thinking of it like that) on all social media channels, tell friends and family, set up profiles on the relevant third party sites and get the word out there. It’s scary and there’s always those ‘what-if-it-doesn’t-work-out’ thoughts, but you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there. I’d much rather be the person that tried and failed than be the one that wasn’t brave enough to try in the first place.
If leaving your full time job isn’t really an option right now, especially for financial reasons, be smart about it.. It’s not uncommon to start a business on your own that’s similar or the same as your full time job. After all, it’s what your good at, it makes sense. But don’t screw over your boss, steal or do anything gross misconduct-y. Be respectful and discreet when you can and try not to burn bridges (unless they burn them first!), you never know what might happen. A lot of forward-thinking companies are realistic about side hustles. If they’re clever about it, they’ll recognise your potential and use your side hustle to better their business. Win-win for all! For example this lovely lady has made a name for herself outside of her day job as the beauty director of Glamour. Yes, it could be deemed a conflict but Glamour have recognised her staying power and promoted her as it’s good for them to tap into her audience in return. Savvy! If you think your company would be interested in working together, be prepared to approach them with a pitch outlining how it could benefit their business, not just you.
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